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Home |  Blog |  Orthopedic Doctors: When should I see an orthopedic physician?

Orthopedic Doctors: When should I see an orthopedic physician?

Orthopedics Defined:

In a nutshell, the study and research of the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, nerves, etc.) is known as orthopedics. Orthopedics was first developed to treat children who had crippling or debilitating diseases.

In fact the word “orthopedic” is derived from the Greek words “ortho,” meaning straight, and “pais,” meaning children or pediatric. Modern orthopedic physicians treat everyone, no matter their age. In general chronic pain, rheumatic diseases, musculoskeletal injuries and arthritis all are part of the large umbrella orthopedics.

While there are many general orthopedists, quite a few physicians specialize in specific parts of the anatomy or certain diseases. Inside the big umbrella of orthopedics there are a number of specialties including:

  • Arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Injury care including fractures
  • Joint replacement surgery
  • Rheumatology
  • Pain management
  • Sports medicine
  • Back & Spine Surgery
  • Hand Surgery
  • Hip Injuries& Replacement
  • Shoulder Injuries& Replacement
  • Foot & Ankle Surgery
  • Physical and Occupational Therapy

When To See An Orthopedic Physician


Many people wonder if they should visit an orthopedic specialist or go to their primary care doctor. There are some specific times that it may speed recovery time to visit the orthopedist directly. Anytime that that there is a suspected traumatic or repetitive motion injury to a bone, joint, tendon or nerve an orthopedic doctor is your best choice for treatment. If the patient is experiencing chronic joint or bone pain, diagnosed with a rheumatic disease, or have arthritis an orthopedic specialist is an important part of treatment.

Some Diseases and Conditions Treated By Orthopedists

There are many diseases, conditions, and injuries treated by orthopedic specialists. A few of these diseases include:

Diabetic FootHeel PainMorton’s NeuromaPlantar FasciitisBone SpursTendon DysfunctionAchilles TendinitisBunionsClaw ToeHammer ToeMorton’s NeuromaHip DysplasiaHip BursitisSnapping HipOsteoporosis of the HipArthritisBowed LegsBursitisJoint PainOsgood-Schlatter DiseaseRunner’s KneeOsteoporosisSpinal FracturesErb’s PalsyTendonitisCubital Tunnel SyndromeFrozen ShoulderShoulder ImpingementTennis ElbowSpine and NeckSpinal StenosisScoliosisCauda Equina SyndromeSciaticaCarpal Tunnel SyndromeCompartment SyndromeDupuytren’s ContractureKienböck’s DiseaseBoutonnière DeformityDe Quervain’s TendinitisBone, Joint, and Muscle Infections in ChildrenCerebral PalsyJuvenile ArthritisLimb Length DiscrepancyMuscular DystrophyNeurofibromatosisRicketsInfections after FractureLyme DiseaseMuscle Cramp

Finding an Orthopedic Physician

When looking to get orthopedic care it is important to take into consideration the condition that needs treatment. Finding a specialist in the specific issue can speed along the healing process greatly. The Illinois Bone and Joint Institute has specialist in almost every area of orthopedic care. To find a physician to treat a certain disease, condition, or injury search our database of physicians to find one that has the ability to provide expert specialized care.  Once a physician is found, it is easy to make an appointment by calling the phone number on the doctor’s biography page or requesting an appointment through our contact form.

This information is not intended to provide advise or treatment for a specific situation. Consult your physician and medical team for information and treatment plans on your specific condition(s).